Tuesday, August 2, 2011

2010 Cedar River Cellars Vintage Sensory Eval

I just finished taking 50ml samples from each of our varietal barrels, mixing, and doing some sensory evaluation on each individual sample, as well as the conglomerate. What I have in the barrels for 2010 are Merlot, Cab Sauv, and Syrah. Most everyone knows that the 2010 Viognier was already released and is long gone, however, I will give some notes/thoughts on the Vio as well.

The wino talking heads, if you read all of the wine blogs and such, will say that 2010 is a cool year and look for stronger acids and such in the 2010 vintage Washington wines. My primary impressions are...I am finding a nice balanced drinkable wines at 10 months old. I also get my grapes in two areas...Yakima and Pasco...some other regions may differ.

Here is the breakdown:

2010 Viognier
Tropical fruit aroma, starting to show a bit of honey in the flavor, pear and apple flavors, finishes dry, crisp and acidic with a perceived sweetness. I had some customers say it is the best Vio they have ever had.

2010 Syrah
Added re-toasted French barrels to the mix. A bit lighter in color than our 2009..brick red. Mocha nose, baking spices, blackberry/cherry aroma. Medium anise flavor, barrel spice, berry flavors and a medium acid-ethanol finish. Medium body and a light trailing aftertaste, and light tannin finish..ready for next sip. Definitely a bit different from the 2009 in terms of a bit more tannin and acid and not so much blueberry. Acid is not tart or over-the-top.

2010 Cab Sauv
Added re-toasted French barrels to the mix. A bit lighter in color than our 2009..plum red. Pie cherry nose, black currant, baking spice, and slight clove/eugenol. Very light smoke/tar-like aroma. Flavors of black currant, clove, vanillan, and barrel notes. A medium-full body with medium-full tannin and balanced acid finish. Acid is not tart or over-the-top. I find the 2010 Cab Sauv a bit easier to drink at this time than our 2009, with much more complex flavors.

2010 Merlot
Added a new M+ American Oak barrel to the mix. Classic Merlot brick red color. Aromas of vanilla, brandied cherry, and light smoke. Meaty game-like flavors, ripe plum and cherry flavors, light cola, with light clove notes. Aftertaste lingers of barrel toast. Full bodied, clean tannin, and crisp acid finish, but not tart. I speculate this will be a popular wine for our 2012 release.

I think that the 2010 vintage is just fine..in my cellar..and I would guess in most every other winery's cellar. However, 2010 did bang on the vines a bit and 2011 harvest will be light in some if not most vineyards. It will be interesting to see how the concentration and flavors change in 2011 vintage.

If you liked our 2009 rookie vintage, I think the 2010 will be a bit different and fun to drink.